Three factors to understand the success (and failure) of a startup

Today’s Soapbox opinion was written by Daniela Arias, co-Founder of Naranja Media Podcast and Empréndete

Contxto – While many of us would like to be the next Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or Mark Zuckerberg, the behind the scenes story of how a startup became a great company cannot be further from those first impressions of success.

Let’s stop for a moment. Think about that company you admire.

Have you ever wondered how they got through those stressful moments or how they celebrated happy moments and big hits?

Perhaps you admire them based on how they chose their co-Founders or ultimately defined the business idea? Or even, because of the way they looked to build their characteristic business culture?

For a long time now we have seen hundreds of papers and detailed studies confirming the reasons why businesses fail. But, what are the real reasons that lead them to their success?

The truth is we don’t know. It’s possible no one knows. But when it comes to startups we think there are three factors not often discussed in enough depth. 

We recognized some, which we identified in The Universe of Truora: the history of a startup, that can be crucial on the road to the success of a venture: 

The co-Founders

Ordinary people with unusual ambitions.

Although we are convinced they are beings with extraordinary qualities, the truth is that regardless of whether the company was founded by one or five people, each of those people has a skillset.

Each is full of talents, resources, contacts, anecdotes, one or two certificates, and hundreds of personal and professional stories that make them unique. Most important of all, it’s given them the experience to contribute to one common purpose as a team. 

Hearing their funny, contagious, even ineloquent anecdotes confirms they are not gods. Yet, after years of trials, their personal and professional challenges have may have made them great mentors.  

Diversity in talent is precisely what makes any work team complement itself. So, knowing their hobbies and recognising their natural abilities just like their good habits and tastes, will be the starting point to building a dream team.

The culture of a startup

We know that creating a culture isn’t easy. But, we also know that it determines the personality of the company and the sense of belonging of the members of the team. Culture isn’t necessarily a fancy office with nice spaces for leisure. 

Certainly, we all dreamed about working at Google, riding a bike to work and eating for free. The reality is that this is only a fraction of what a company’s culture means. 

Culture is defined by a group of habits, behaviors, and beliefs. But it’s also the way the founders address their team, their leadership style, how they celebrate closing big clients, or what they do on Fridays. Every single detail within a team is part of the culture. 

And the story of how they built it is what must be understood. 

Finding the right people takes work. However, we have learned that prioritizing talent, and even incubating it, will bring results that will be reflected in the profitability of the company and in the happiness of the entire team.

The story of its growth

Although financing is essential, growth is also made of tech and people. 

Usually, the growth of a company is represented in monetary terms. If we think about companies like Rappi, we will surely have a financial connotation to this term and, in this particular case, to the flashy concept of the unicorns. 

But the truth is that any organization is only as good as the people who work for it. And this makes a lot of sense when discussing culture as a fundamental part of a company.

Growth in terms of learning and working says a lot about a company. Knowing their hiring processes; what are the determining factors, diplomas, attitude, experience and the way they decide to create a team is essential. 

When it comes to implementation of technology, almost every company has the ability to adapt early to big changes if they prioritize them.

This will not only allow to establish much more ambitious strategies but also to make smarter decisions in terms of operations. 

In monetary terms, accelerators like Y Combinator definitely provide a great financial boost, but they are a great positioning and recognition resource, especially in Latin America. 

The common thread behind every startup

Knowing the detailed story of any company will also allow us to carefully extract those more intimate takeaways in terms of culture, growth, and co-Founders. 

We also believe that confidence, ability, and conviction complement this list very well. That is precisely what Cesar, David, Maite, and Daniel talk about in The Universe of Truora. 

They tell the story of a startup and it will surely help any entrepreneur to complement our own universe at a personal level on this startups’ road.

Daniela Arias, is co-Founder of Naranja Media Podcast and Empréndete. She works in marketing because she loves to be the bridge between business and society. Sure, she also loves podcasts, like Sales Machine with Dan Macias. Take a closer look at what is discussed in this article, here.

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